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Sean Monahan: a four-year contract is a possibility this summer

I imagine Gary Bettman must be looking forward to the All-Star break. Or to the increase in transaction rumors. Or even when there’s more talk of Salt Lake City and the possibility of a club (the Coyotes?) moving there.

But why? Anything to avoid talking about Junior Team Canada 2018. Right now, the subject is getting a lot of attention. And let’s just say that every misstep is analyzed.

The Flames’ statement that they “didn’t know” Dillon Dube was in legal trouble went down badly publicly. It came just days after announcing that the player was taking a break to take care of his mental health.

Clearly, I think NHL trade rumors will help divert media attention to more “hockey” topics per se.

And inevitably, in Montreal, the Sean Monahan file will be the driving force behind all the rumours. He’s the one the Habs will be talking about the most over the next few weeks.

After all, you know the drill: even if the Habs have a few players who could leave between now and March 8, none of them will be as in demand as Sean Monahan.

I’m talking about realistic options, of course.

On this subject, Pierre LeBrun wrote an interesting piece this morning in which he provides additional information about Monahan. I say “additional” becauselast night, he mentioned the possibility of the Habs getting a first-round pick in exchange for his services to Insider Trading.

But this morning, on The Athletic, the journalist also talked about the fact that on the free agent market this summer, Monahan could possibly get a four-year contract. And from what he reports, that doesn’t fit with what the Habs are trying to build for the long term.

I’m of the school of those who want to keep him because of his importance. That said, if he asks for too big a contract, I don’t think it’s necessarily better for the Habs.

But if he asks for too much money over four years and the Habs have (at least) a first-round pick on the table for his services, I won’t throw the first stone at Kent Hughes if he trades him.

But that’s not all LeBrun has to say.

Even if nothing is moving concretely at the moment (the Habs might like things to move faster so as not to risk another injury… but they have no problem being patient), teams are still calling for Monahan.

And since many teams won’t be able to get their hands on Elias Lindholm from the Flames, Monahan’s candidacy will become increasingly interesting.

Especially if he keeps playing like this, boosting his market value.

Monahan shouldn’t necessarily be traded quickly, as some clubs may want to see how healthy he is in a month’s time before making a move. It’s not out of the question.

But at $1.985 million (or 50% of that amount), if he’s healthy and productive, he’ll be in demand.

The Avalanche, Jets, Bruins and Rangers are the teams mentioned in LeBrun’s article, but there will be others eventually. The more time passes, the more we’ll know.

LeBrun also believes that the bickering between the Habs and Rangers shouldn’t necessarily stop the two teams from dancing, if that helps everyone.

While LeBrun doesn’t rule out that the Habs could keep the center, the fact remains that with a potential four-year contract and with the offers Kent Hughes will have on his desk by March 8, we have to expect to see him go.

To be continued.

In Brief

– Read on.

– The Rocket must be consistent.

– Sports in Montreal are healthy. [La Presse]

– Mike Ribeiro: DNA evidence in court. [TVA Sports]

– Really?

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